“When an instrument is purposely played too loud, it becomes noise.”
Learning the art of self-promotion requires effort and in last week’s article (click here to read it), the idea of when “enough is enough” was discussed. While that defining line may vary from person to person and situation to situation, there are times when it’s blaringly obvious that there is way too much.
Understanding the difference between honest self-promotion and self-importance shouldn’t be a difficult task. Certain rhetoric and verbal cues are definite and clear-cut signs that modesty and decorum have taken a back seat and arrogance is behind the wheel. It is true that certain professions need and thrive from grossly overstating ones capabilities but they are the exceptions and not the rule.
Those who are genuinely confident in their abilities and themselves don’t have a need to constantly repeat it to others around them. The relentless reminders of how well they do their work are usually more of a sign suggesting the complete opposite. The idea of low self-esteem is something they do not want to consider about themselves and it manifests in unceasing verbal chatter which ultimately demonstrates that lack to others.
Vying against a competitor or an opponent is another situation which may require more boasting than normal. However, mocking and ridiculing the challenger merely to put down and discredit him or her without anything of substance as part of your deliberation, is another false sense of superiority. Unfortunately, some have become quite skilled in the art of mimicry and derision but once again, it essentially shows they have no real solutions and are blowing smoke to divert attention away from their true insecurities, shortcomings, and lack of understanding.
It shouldn’t need to be pointed out that blaming others is not an indication of your competence. Nonetheless, it appears to be one of the main tools used by many. Blame is also another sign that you have not come up with a respectable answer and want to keep that under wraps. Remember, even if it is the fault of others it still does not resolve the issues at hand.
Conviction and certitude are important but there is a threshold for how often it needs to be reiterated. Again, if you’re telling someone that you’re “absolutely certain”, they will believe you the first time. But when that certainty is repeated ad nauseum, it begins to look more like a cover-up strategy. The constant repetition will bring in to question whether or not it was actually true in the first place. Besides, it’s always better to prove with your actions rather than your words that you are free from guilt or blame.
Learning to toot your own horn in a way which best suits you is definitely an undertaking for many. It isn’t something that comes natural to most of us. Planning and even writing out what you will say can be enormously essential for progressing yourself and your career. Knowing what to say – and also what not to say – is important and creating a strategy of doing it may just make a world of difference in your life.
My thanks to Damian Markutt for the beautiful picture and I look forward to your comments.